COURTLAND (TEC News) -- The final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed four-lane expansion of Highway 14 between North Mankato and New Ulm is available for public review starting today.
There is no funding currently in place for the project that recommends a bypass north of Courtland and south of Nicollet, but otherwise would run along the current Highway 14 route.
The report say the Highway 14 Minnesota River bridge at New Ulm is proposed to be replace in 2018 with funding provided by the 2008 Minnesota Legislature. The replacement bridge will be a four-land bridge.
The EIS makes note that the expansion would be constructed as a series of projects with logical end points over the course of many year. In addition the EIS says some features such as interchanges may not be built with the initial construction.
The draft EIS was completed in December 2007.
The project proposes upgrading he existing 2-lane highway to a 4-land, divided expressway with a 70 mph speed limit.
Crash rates at the most heavily used intersection exceed statewide average, noting particular problems at the Highway 15 and County Road 21 intersections. The report also notes a lack of passing zones leading to drivers taking high risks to pass. Head-on and sideswipe crash accounted for 22% of crashes between 200 and 2009.
In addition, MnDOT is forecasting an increase in traffic congestion for the entire corridor and would most likely operated below 55 mph by 2025.